It's Official

Jonathan Garthwaite

2/18/2010 1:21:50 AM - Jonathan Garthwaite

It sure is hard to keep good news a secret...

For the past few years, a lot of us at Salem Communications and Townhall.com have read and admired the work done by Michelle Malkin, Ed Morrissey and the infamous AllahPundit on HotAir.com. In four quick years, they’ve grown the site from the new kid on the block to easily the most popular site in the conservative blogosphere. Salem and Townhall have been in the battle for conservative values for years on radio, in print and on the Web and bringing HotAir.com into the family seemed completely natural.

Thankfully Michelle agreed.

After many conversations with Michelle, Ed and Allah, Salem Communications agreed to acquire HotAir.com last week. HotAir is playing a critical role in the battle for the country’s future and all of us at Salem are tremendously excited by what the future brings. I couldn’t agree more with Tom Perrault, Senior Vice President of SWN who says in the press release, “The addition of Hot Air doubles the size of Salem’s expanding footprint in online conservative commentary. It’s a perfect fit for us, since we can leverage talk radio, print and other online assets to aggressively grow the site, while offering political organizations and advertisers an even more effective way to reach and engage the conservative audience.”

Stay tuned…

The official press release announcing the acquisition:

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Salem Communications Acquires HotAir.com
Blog Site Joins with Townhall to Create Largest Conservative News and Commentary Voice on the Web

WASHINGTON, DC --Salem Communications (Nasdaq:SALM), a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider and magazine publisher targeting audiences interested in faith, family and conservative values, announced today at the Conservative Political Action Conference that it has acquired HotAir.com – the popular right-of-center blog showcasing the news, analysis and commentary of Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit – from Michelle Malkin.

HotAir.com – combined with Townhall.com – creates the largest conservative commentary, analysis, and news network on the Web with more than 3 million unique readers.

Best-selling author, blogger, and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, who started HotAir.com in 2006, said of the acquisition, "Hot Air has experienced phenomenal growth -- beyond our wildest expectations. With its established radio platform and fast-growing Internet brands, Salem is perfectly positioned to take Hot Air to the next level as a conservative multimedia powerhouse."

Jonathan Garthwaite, VP & General Manager of Townhall/Hot Air, commenting on the acquisition said, “I have always respected Michelle Malkin and the insights and opinions presented by Hot Air. I look forward to working with Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit during a critical period in determining our country’s future. The combination of the #1 conservative opinion and news site and the #1 conservative news and commentary blog creates a real force for conservative values in 2010 and beyond,” he added.

Townhall/HotAir is a part of Salem Communications’ Internet division, Salem Web Network (SWN). Tom Perrault, Senior Vice President of SWN said, “The addition of Hot Air doubles the size of Salem’s expanding footprint in online conservative commentary. It’s a perfect fit for us, since we can leverage talk radio, print and other online assets to aggressively grow the site, while offering political organizations and advertisers an even more effective way to reach and engage the conservative audience.”

“The acquisition by Salem Communications is an exciting step for Hot Air. I am looking forward to working with my good friends at Salem with their large radio network and websites,” said HotAir blogger Ed Morrissey. “I have worked for a very good friend and mentor for the last two years, Michelle Malkin. Congratulations to Michelle for her vision and hard work in turning Hot Air into one of the most frequented political websites,” Morrissey added.

"It's an honor to work with a company as respected as Salem and an amazing opportunity to expand Hot Air's reach ahead of the midterm elections,” said AllahPundit, who blogs under a pseudonym. “Eternal thanks to Michelle Malkin, for having taken a chance on me when no one else would. I can never repay her for her kindness."

About HotAir.com

Began in April 2006 by political commentator Michelle Malkin, HotAir.com has grown into the most popular conservative blog on the web. Bloggers Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit provide round-the-clock breaking news, commentary and insight from a conservative perspective. It is ranked among the top blogs on Technorati.

About Townhall

Townhall.com was launched in 1995 and has grown into the #1 conservative commentary and news site online. Townhall also publishes Townhall Magazine, a print magazine full of investigative reporting, commentary and dynamic photography.

CONTACT:
Jonathan Garthwaite, VP & General Manager, Townhall/HotAir
703-294-6046http://www.hotair.com
http://www.townhall.com

About Salem Communications

Salem Communications (NASDAQ: SALM) is a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. In addition to its radio properties, Salem owns Salem Radio Network?, which syndicates talk, news and music programming to approximately 2,000 affiliates; Salem Media Representatives™, a national radio advertising sales force; Salem Web Network™, an Internet provider of Christian content and online streaming; and Salem Publishing™, a publisher of Christian-themed magazines. Upon the close of all announced transactions, the company will own 94 radio stations, including 58 stations in 22 of the top 25 markets. Additional information about Salem may be accessed at the company's website, www.salem.cc.